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Scallions in Italian cooking?

That salad of orange-red onion-fennel-black olive is a classic. Additionally from Sicily and Calabria, a tomato-red onion (w oregano and sometimes tuna under olive oil) is everywhere. My grandfather would enjoy red onion alone in vinegar, olive oil, and oregano as a condiment to soften the hard bread biscuits called freselle.

about 5 hours ago
bob96 in Home Cooking

Best not-"third wave" espresso/coffee?

St.Ambroeus, Zibbetto

about 5 hours ago
bob96 in Manhattan

Long Gone But Not Forgotten! Manhattan Memories

Yes, remember Mon Paris, one of many similar French places all thru the city, and now virtually all gone.

about 16 hours ago
bob96 in Manhattan

Best restaurant w/ Tom Colicchio

Format's so damn tired by now--tried to watch but gave up.

Jan 23, 2015
bob96 in Food Media & News

Tips for eating alone in Italy?

Your experience will vary, of course, but had to post this lovely account by Mark Rotella (author of "Stolen Figs") about his experience da solo in Reggio Calabria.http://www.nytimes.com/2002/05/26/tra...

Jan 23, 2015
bob96 in Italy

Great Italian in Dyker Heights

Sorry to hear about Tommaso's--an icon of ambition and wine in the area for years. I'd only add Il Colosseo on 18th and 77th for very good brick oven pizza, grilled fish, and pasta--not exactly old red sauce but newish red sauce, filled with large Italian families.

Jan 21, 2015
bob96 in Outer Boroughs

Where to buy Dalmatian Pršut (ham)

Not at all sure how similar they are, but Speck is also dried and smoked ham, from Alto Adige, and sold at Eataly and probably at DiPalo, too.

Jan 21, 2015
bob96 in Outer Boroughs

Chicken Cacciatore?

This is the basic recipe, from an expert. There's another template, without tomatoes, but with garlic, rosemary, and white wine. But Schwartz gives all you need to get started.No cheese.
http://www.thefoodmaven.com/naples/ca...

Jan 20, 2015
bob96 in Home Cooking

Anyone else over Guy Fierri?

He's harmless, especially in the context of the other loud, sweaty, and overacting guys who populate these food and travel shows-Richman, Zimmmern, the new idiot on Booze Traveller, all the other laff riot bros who get conjured out of nowhere to run from food truck to food truck stuffing their mugs. Fieri's show at least shed light on some terrific places and people, who likely would not have had much exposure. Yeah, he gets recycled into every corner--just like every FN celeb-host-chef. How many times and ways can we watch Bobby or Giada or Anne or Alex or Ted pronounce and proclaim? DDD can be an oddly refreshing change from the master template of robotically staged and ridiculous competitions: watch one or two of these with the sound off, and you can learn to direct any segment yourself.

It's MASCARPONE!

The British have their own struggles, with "pasta" top start with.

Jan 17, 2015
bob96 in Not About Food

How do you pronounce 'bruschetta'?

Varies. In Reggio Calabria, it's "zippuli" or "ZEE-poolee". How my NY Reggio family said it growing up. But "zay-ppolay" can work, as long as the "ays" are not drawn out a lot. And the "Z" has a touch of "ts" in it. Don't even start talking of the many different regional words for this same delicacy, even within Calabria, from crispelle and crispeddhi all the way down to zippuli.

Jan 13, 2015
bob96 in Not About Food

Another article on Italy's small food-makers - "Export or die"

Maureen, I hold my breath with you, as well. And your post got me thinking of experiences like yours, like visiting the Greek ruins at Locri in Calabria, where there was nary a signpost nor much of anything of added value to the site. And of a tour, sponsored by the Regione Calabria and others, of Calabrese wine and food producers and importers, that set out amazing stuff, with much fanfare, at venues throughout New York City. I have yet to see, three years later, anything take hold. I really don't know why, and I don't cast blame. But the global enogastronomy market is both enormous and enormously crowded. How much of a sustainable market for any one small, good thing can there be? How much $8/lb pasta artigianale can the market absorb? Props to Eataly, for a moment, for not in fact being a least common denominator in much of the world, but for being many times the sole source for such prize- winning goods as the Fazari family's wonderful Calabrian oils. When even established Italian American importers never touch stuff anywhere near this good (why is a quality pecorino from Calabria or even Sardinia so impossible to find in the US?). But it's also wise to remember that it was Riunite and its Lambrusco, and maybe then the Bollas, that made the difference in the Italian wine explosion a few cycles back, through volume and on price. And that it's also really hard to find lots of similar small-scale French products outside France; how many kinds of Cantal are available in NY, say? Spain competes on price, and its best stuff (oil, wine, mostly) profits almost inadvertently because of that. I find much Italian wine (not the jewels, but everyday treasures) and some food now at dangerously high price points. Brand Italy seeks market growth by building walls, and sweats to protect all its brands--important in itself, but not, I think, something that will grow market share simply by driving out pale impostors. The Brand needs to grow, and its the big players who can do this--Galbani has joined with Buffalo-based Sargento to market Galbani -branded cheeses, for example and for better or worse. I wish I had some answers, but I always suspect there aren;'t that many obvious ones: the large and mysterious force sod the neoliberal marketplace write their own scripts.

Jan 13, 2015
bob96 in Italy

How do you pronounce 'bruschetta'?

I think the DiFara thread ate up most of the available archive space. BTW, the plural is "bruschette." I'm so tired of this I'm agnostic on pronunciation.

Jan 13, 2015
bob96 in Not About Food

Help with fresh clams from Costco: ALWAYS SALTY

As some have suggested, just adjust the taste. Easiest if you steam them open in some plain water first, remove the clams, strain liquid and taste. Then you're in control and can either extend the juices with some plain water--or simply use only a portion of the juices to flavor your basic sauce of oil, garlic, onion, and herbs. A few chopped fresh cherry tomatoes added to the pan, just for color and contrast, can provide a nice acid balance, too. But do salt the pasta water.

Jan 12, 2015
bob96 in Home Cooking

Need a recipe to impress my landlord in Napoli

Second Jen's rec for Arthur's great book--which gives you provincial variants within the general Campanian style: things from Avellino, Benevento, Salerno, Caserta. Your urbane Neapolitan hostess might be please and surprised. Luciano Pignataro is, iof course, an amazing source for all kinds of ricette tipiche. Don't overlook a Fiano d'Avellino for your wine list, too. Greta landlord--and guest!

Jan 10, 2015
bob96 in Italy

What's a traditional Christmas dinner in Naples like?

Auguri! What a great story, and what a time you must have had. On to Palermo next year...!

Dec 29, 2014
bob96 in Home Cooking

Ina Garten/Barefoot Contessa Drinking Game

Here's to Rose Marie, and I'll take a very dry Morey Amsterdam, please. Seriously, Lidia manages to mangle even Italian names and places--I once started to keep track. For example, she confused Civitavecchia, near Rome, with Civitanova Marche, on the other side of the country, whose important fish and seafood auction she was showing. I guess she's in a position of authority where it doesn't matter.

Dec 27, 2014
bob96 in Food Media & News

Are fresh concord grapes really necessary to the momofuku milk bar recipes?

I'd wait till next summer.

Dec 27, 2014
bob96 in Home Cooking

Need help pairing wine with a entree that has many flavors!

Agree about warm Midi/Spanish/Portuguese reds--by the time the dish is done, the goat cheese is mere texture.

Dec 26, 2014
bob96 in Wine

Best Italian

Motorino is really only a Neapolitan pizzeria. For a full Neapolitan menu, good brick oven pizza included, PizzArte.

Dec 26, 2014
bob96 in Manhattan

Wine Pairing help for Christmas dinner party

Starting second course to first: a bright, medium weight red with some acidity balanced by fruit: some zins, but also a Sicilian Cerasuolo, a Rosso Conero from le Marche, a Ciro from Calabria, Barbera from Piemonte or a Sardinian Cannonau. Many more, of course, lots from around the Mediterranean--from Spain, a Monastrell, France, a not too thick Languedoc red like Minervois. To start, a rose/rosato/rosado, if there are any left from Sicily, Rioja, Puglia, Corbieres, Abruzzo. Or a minerally white with at least some fruit and good acid--any of the Vermentinos from Sardinia, Ruedas from Spain, or a Greco di Tufo from Campania.

Dec 20, 2014
bob96 in Wine

What to serve with cheese ravioli xmas day?

Just what I was thinking--great suggestion. Also, a dish of winter greens like broccoli rabe, blanched then tossed in oil and garlic and hot red pepper offsets the meat. With a green pepper salad like one of those presented here, you should be fine. I'd also assemble a nice bowl of seasonal fruits, nuts, and dried figs...and some really good cheese.

Dec 12, 2014
bob96 in Home Cooking

What's a traditional Christmas dinner in Naples like?

Ususally a mix, some more complete than others, of dishes from the dishes listed below, but almost always some form of baccala, shellfish or anchovies with pasta, capitone (eel), insalata di rinforzo. To be clear, there is also a traditional Christmas day menu, usually a full-on ragu with some kind of festive pasta like lasagne or baked ziti.

Dec 06, 2014
bob96 in Home Cooking

NYT The Future of Food

Whom does he assume in "we" and "our"? And how do you predict (much less judge) a future for, presumably, everyone in a world fractured by deep social and economic inequalities and cultural differences--many of which have a way of hanging around.

Dec 06, 2014
bob96 in Food Media & News

Mind of a Chef, Season 3

Just stumbled into this, with the excellent Argentina/Mailman episode. Very interesting, and Lee's blend of expertise, wonder, and openness is really refreshing.

Nov 26, 2014
bob96 in Food Media & News

Eat - a Nat Geo series airing right now

Agreed. Wanted so much to get lost in some kind of narrative, ut frantic, jumpy, and filled with wasted time--like all those cute shots of camera and production folks shooting a scene. Forced (and too much) humor. Are all the talking heads (who are some of these people, anyway?) men, by the way? The loud overweight LA chef--huh?

Nov 25, 2014
bob96 in Food Media & News

Long Gone But Not Forgotten! Manhattan Memories

Casa Moneo wasd on W 14th St, between 7th and 8th; was a remnant (along with a bunch of Spanish restaurants, also now gone--one was Casa Oviedo) of an historic Spanish (from Spain) neighborhood. The store sold everything from paella pans, chorizo, olive oil, rice, saffron, turon, and other foods from Spain along with imported records, books, greeting cards, cosmetics, gifts, and more.

Nov 18, 2014
bob96 in Manhattan

Loss of family owned businesses in Italy....A change in Italian Culture?

allende,

I missplaced my Strunk&White. Just an overheated way of noting the prominence of rural luxe in Italian food culture--those gorgeously staged farms, estates and shops that in the media's eye have come to typify "Italy". Don't mean, of course, to cast a cynical eye on the entire slowfood movement, which does so much good. I meant to suggest that the traditional spirit of Italian hospitality, represented by that Lebanese restaurant family, can be found in many of the corners not covered in glossy travel magazines. There must be at least one brilliant macellaio in Italy not named Dario Cecchini.

Nov 15, 2014
bob96 in Italy

Loss of family owned businesses in Italy....A change in Italian Culture?

Thanks once more, especially for the reminder about who keeps kitchens and store rooms open. Maybe the mayor of Lucca and his ilk should think about why this is. Of course, I should have mentioned the internal de facto slavery that kept Italian agriculture going before the land reforms after WW2, from the rice plantations of the Po to the masserie of Puglia. Not counting the millions of contadini who each day walked miles to and from their villages to till someone else's fields. Yes, also, to what that Lebanese restaurant represented--in some ways, something delightfully more "Italian" than the showcase slow food destinations that depend on waves of well-heeled tourists looking for the next private chapel of authenticity. Lanchester's piece is a useful tonic, too; I'd only add that food's not always just something there to eat--it's often a key instrument with which many kinds of groups define themselves--immigrants have always used food as a source of meaning in order to assert, protect, and also reshape their identities and places in a hostile society. Cheers.

Nov 15, 2014
bob96 in Italy

Thoughts on restaurants that claim to source locally, but don't

I think you've gotten close to the nub of a chaotic issue, and I do see more menus making something like the statement of intent you suggest. Beyond local/seasonal, however, how about the assumptions diners make about what the kitchen prepares fresh or from scratch? The default, I'd guess, except perhaps for chains, is that it's all or mostly freshly prepared. But given the "ambitious" mains on even modest menus (all those balsamic salmon and coconut rice and mango salsa coulis things in roadside pubs), my guess is that there's a lot of cryovac, foil, and other wrappings being collected along the line. Any data on this in the US? French restaurants got caught with their microwaves on high, recently.

Nov 13, 2014
bob96 in General Topics